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BYOB: Bring Your Own Book

Saturday, Jul 06, 2019 at 10:46am

Summer's here! And no matter where you go, Penguin Random House of Canada has a paperback for you to take along.

To the beach, to the patio, to the park, to the backyard — there are plenty of literary choices to match your summer adventure. Just take a look at the list of titles below, and look for our "BYOB" displays in-store.

Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, New Releases, Literature

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The Saturday Night Ghost Club

- Craig Davidson

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A short, infectious, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of Stranger Things and Stand by Me about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends. Finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

When neurosurgeon Jake Baker operates, he knows he's handling more than a patient's delicate brain tissue--he's altering the seat of consciousness, the golden vault of memory. And memory, Jake knows well, can be a tricky, quicksilver thing.
     When growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls, a.k.a. Cataract City--a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place--one of Jake's closest confidantes was his uncle Calvin, a sweet but eccentric misfit enamored of occult artefacts and outlandish conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turned twelve, Calvin invited him to join the "Saturday Night Ghost Club"--a seemingly light-hearted project to investigate some of Cataract City's more macabre urban myths. Over the course of that life-altering summer, Jake not only met his lifelong best friend and began to imagine his own future, he came to realize that his uncle's preoccupation with chilling legends sprang from something so painful, and buried so deep, that Calvin himself was unaware of the source.
     From the Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated author of Cataract City and bestselling memoir Precious Cargo, here is a note-perfect novel that poignantly examines the fragility of mind and body, the resilience of the human spirit--and the haunting mutability of memory.

There There

- Tommy Orange

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"Yes, Tommy Orange's new novel really is that good." --New York Times

Here is a story of several people, each of whom has private reasons for travelling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honour his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss.

Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking, There There is a relentlessly paced multi-generational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. An unforgettable debut.

Warlight

- Michael Ondaatje

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From the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.

In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself - shadowed and luminous at once - we read the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey - through facts, recollection, and imagination - that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.

Vi

- Kim Thuy, Sheila Fischman

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The perfect complement to the exquisitely wrought novels Ru and Mãn, Canada Reads winner Kim Thúy returns with Vi, exploring the lives, loves and struggles of Vietnamese refugees as they reinvent themselves in new lands.

The daughter of an enterprising mother and a wealthy, spoiled father who never had to grow up, Vi was the youngest of their four children and the only girl. They gave her a name that meant "precious, tiny one," destined to be cosseted and protected, the family's little treasure.
     But the Vietnam War destroys life as they've known it. Vi, along with her mother and brothers, manages to escape--but her father stays behind, leaving a painful void as the rest of the family must make a new life for themselves in Canada.
     While her family puts down roots, life has different plans for Vi. Taken under the wing of Hà, a worldly family friend, and her diplomat lover, Vi tests personal boundaries and crosses international ones, letting the winds of life buffet her. From Saigon to Montreal, from Suzhou to Boston to the fall of the Berlin Wall, she is witness to the immensity of geography, the intricate fabric of humanity, the complexity of love, the infinite possibilities before her. Ever the quiet observer, somehow Vi must find a way to finally take her place in the world.

Clock Dance

- Anne Tyler

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A charming new novel of self-discovery and second chances from the bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Spool of Blue Thread.

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn't sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she's never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory--and surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she'll find solace and fulfillment in unexpected places. A bewitching novel of hope and transformation, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers.

Transcription

- Kate Atkinson

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A Penguin Book Club Pick

From the bestselling author of Life After Life, a new novel that explores the repercussions of one young woman's espionage work during World War II.


In 1940, eighteen-year-old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.

Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit, and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.

Motherhood

- Sheila Heti

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A daring, funny, and poignant novel about the desire and duty to procreate, by one of our most brilliant and original writers.

Motherhood treats one of the most consequential decisions of early adulthood--whether or not to have children--with the intelligence, wit and originality that have won Sheila Heti international acclaim, and which led her previous work, How Should a Person Be?, to be called "one of the most talked-about books of the year" (TIME magazine).

Having reached an age when most of her peers are asking themselves when they will become mothers, Heti's narrator considers, with the same urgency, whether she will do so at all. Over the course of several years, under the influence of her partner, body, family, friends, mysticism and chance, she struggles to make a moral and meaningful choice.

In a compellingly direct mode that straddles the forms of the novel and the essay, Motherhood raises radical and essential questions about womanhood, parenthood, and how--and for whom--to live.

Trickster Drift

- Eden Robinson

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Following the Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted Son of a Trickster comes Trickster Drift, a national bestseller and the second book in Eden Robinson's captivating Trickster trilogy.

Jared Martin, seventeen, has quit drugs and drinking. But his troubles are not over: the temptation to slip is constant (thanks to his enabling, ever-partying mom, Maggie). He's being stalked by David, his mom's ex--a preppy, khaki-wearing psycho with a proclivity for rib-breaking. And Maggie, a witch as well as a badass, can't protect him like she used to because he's moved from Kitimat to Vancouver for school.
     He figures that in order to be safe from both magic, addiction and David, he's got to get his grades up, find a job that doesn't involve selling weed cookies, and learn how to live with his Aunt Mave, who has been estranged from the family ever since she tried to "rescue" him as a baby from his mother. Though she smothers him with hugs, Mave is blind to the real dangers that lurk around them--the spirits and supernatural activity that fill her apartment.
     As the son of a Trickster, Jared is a magnet for magic, whether he hates it or not. He sees ghosts, he sees the monster moving underneath his Aunt Georgina's skin, he sees the creature that comes out of his bedroom wall and creepily wants to suck his toes. He also still hears his father in his head, and other voices too. When David finally catches up with him, Jared can't ignore his true nature any longer. And neither can anyone else he loves.

Strangers with the Same Dream

- Alison Pick

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A brilliant, astonishing and politically timely page-turner set in 1921 Palestine, from the author of the bestselling novel Far to Go, nominated for the Man Booker Prize.

This beautifully written, shocking and timely novel whisks us back to 1921, when a band of young Jewish pioneers set out to realize a dream: the founding of a settlement on a patch of land that would, twenty-five years later, become Israel. One by one, we enter the minds of three compelling characters--Ida, an idealistic young woman escaping violence brewing in Europe; David, the charismatic and volatile group leader; and Hannah, a wife and mother struggling with her roles--to witness how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements. This is also the story of the land itself, revealing with compassion and irony how the pioneers chose to ignore the fact that their valley was already home to people whose lives they did not understand.     

Writing with restrained power, award-winning novelist Alison Pick creates unforgettable characters who, isolated within their utopian dream, are haunted by ghosts, compromised by secrets, and finally, despite flashes of love and hope, worn down by hardship, human frailty, and the pull of violent confrontation. Her astonishing conclusion forces us to confront the question of what is truly knowable in the human heart.

The Amateurs

- Liz Harmer

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In the style of Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood, Dave Eggers' The Circle: a post-apocalyptic examination of nostalgia, loss and the possibility of starting over.

Allow us to introduce you to the newest product from PINA, the world's largest tech company. "Port" is a curiously irresistible device that offers the impossible: space-time travel mysteriously powered by nostalgia and longing. Step inside a Port and find yourself transported to wherever and whenever your heart desires: a bygone youth, a dreamed-of future, the fabled past.    

In the near-future world of Liz Harmer's extraordinary novel, Port becomes a phenomenon, but soon it is clear that many who pass through its portal won't be coming back--either unwilling to return or, more ominously, unable to do so. After a few short years, the population plummets. The grid goes down. Among those who remain is Marie, a thirtysomething artist living in a small community of Port-resistors camping out in the abandoned mansions of a former steel town. As winter approaches the group considers heading south, but Marie clings to the hope that her long lost lover will one day return to the spot where he disappeared.    

Meanwhile, PINA's corporate campus in California has become a cultish enclave of survivors. Brandon, the right-hand man to the mad genius who invented Port, decides to get out. He steals a car and drives north-east, where he hopes to find his missing mother. And there he meets Marie.     

The Amateurs is a story of rapture and romance, and an astoundingly powerful tale about what happens when technology meets desire.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

- Lauren James

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Now in paperback, this surprising and gripping sci-fi thriller with a killer twist that Entertainment Weekly called "compulsively unpredictable" will have readers hanging on until its shocking finale.

The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents' tragic deaths left her alone on the Infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.

Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can't help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, the Eternity, will be joining the Infinity.

Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the captain of the Eternity, and their friendship breathes new life into her world. But as the Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there's more to J's mission than she could have imagined. And suddenly, there are worse things than being alone....

Now nominated as a YALSA Quick Pick!

Our Homesick Songs

- Emma Hooper

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LONGLISTED FOR THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

From Emma Hooper, acclaimed author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James, a People magazine "Pick of the Week," comes a "haunting fable about the transformative power of hope" (Booklist, starred review)
 in a charming and mystical story of a family on the edge of extinction.

Newfoundland, 1992. When all the fish vanish from the waters and the cod industry abruptly collapses, it's not long before the people begin to disappear from the town of Big Running as well. As residents are forced to leave the island in search of work, ten-year-old Finn Connor suddenly finds himself living in a ghost town. There's no school, no friends, and whole rows of houses stand abandoned. And then Finn's parents announce that they too must separate if their family is to survive.
     But Finn still has his sister, Cora, with whom he counts the dwindling boats on the coast at night, and Mrs. Callaghan, who teaches him the strange and ancient melodies of their native Ireland. That is until his sister disappears, and Finn must find a way of calling home the family and the life he has lost.

Immigrant, Montana

- Amitava Kumar

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A singularly smart, engaging, and moving novel about a young immigrant in search of himself, and love, in the wider world.

Carrying a single suitcase, Kailash arrives in post-Reagan America from India to attend graduate school. His new friends in New York City teasingly call him Kalashnikov, then AK-47, then AK. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in--and more than that, to shine.
     As he begins to settle into American existence, AK comes under the indelible influence of a charismatic professor--also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK's life--and his perception of himself--are the very different natures of the women with whom he recklessly falls in and out of love.
     Looking back on the formative period of his youth, AK is studiously observant and meditative and, in the moment, the boisterous embodiment of idealism, confusion, and chaotic desire. His wry, vivid perception of the world he is in, but never quite of, unfurls in a brilliant melding of anecdote and annotation, picture and text, that digs deep inside the varieties and vagaries of the immigrant experience. Building a case for himself, both as a good man in spite of his flaws and as an American in defiance of his place of birth, AK weaves a story that is at its core an incandescent investigation of love--despite, beyond, and across dividing lines.

Hot Milk

- Deborah Levy

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016

A richly mythic, colour-saturated tale from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Swimming Home--Deborah Levy explores the violently primal bond between mother and daughter.

Two women arrive in a Spanish village--a dreamlike place caught between the desert and the ocean--seeking medical advice and salvation. One of the strangers suffers from a mysterious illness: spontaneous paralysis confines her to a wheelchair, her legs unusable. The other, her daughter Sofia, has spent years playing the reluctant detective in this mystery, struggling to understand her mother's illness.
     Surrounded by the oppressive desert heat and the mesmerising figures who move through it, Sofia waits while her mother undergoes the strange programme of treatments invented by Dr. Gomez. Searching for a cure to a defiant and quite possibly imagined disease, ever more entangled in the seductive, mercurial games of those around her, Sofia finally comes to confront and reconcile the disparate fragments of her identity.
     Hot Milk is a labyrinth of violent desires, primal impulses, and surreally persuasive internal logic. Examining female rage and sexuality, Deborah Levy's dazzling new novel explores the strange and monstrous nature of motherhood, testing the bonds of parent and child to breaking point.

Beirut Hellfire Society

- Rawi Hage

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LONGLISTED FOR THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD FOR FICTION
FINALIST FOR THE ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE

An explosive new novel from the award-winning, bestselling author of De Niro's Game and Cockroach, and only the second Canadian (after Alistair Macleod) to win the prestigious Dublin IMPAC Literary Award.

It is 1978 in Beirut, Lebanon, partway through that country's Civil War. On a torn-up street overlooking a cemetery in the city's Christian enclave, we meet an eccentric young man named Pavlov, the son of a local undertaker. When his father meets a sudden and untimely death, Pavlov is approached by a colourful member of the mysterious Hellfire Society--a secret group to which his father had belonged. The Society's purpose is to arrange burial or cremation for those who for various reasons have been outcast and abandoned by family, clergy and state. Pavlov agrees to take up his father's work for the society, and over the course of the novel he becomes a survivor-chronicler of his embattled and fading community, bearing witness to its enduring rituals as well as its inevitable decline.
Deftly combining comedy with tragedy, Beirut Hellfire Society is at once propulsive, elegiac, outrageous, profane and transcendent--a profoundly moving meditation on what it means to live through war. It asks what, if anything, can be accomplished or preserved in the face of certain change and imminent death. Here is an exhilarating, subversive, beautiful and timely new work that reinforces Rawi Hage's status as one of our most original, necessary, fearless and important writers.

The End We Start From

- Megan Hunter

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Longlisted for the 2018 Aspen Words Literary Prize
Finalist for the Barnes & Noble 2017 Discover Great New Writers Award


An indelible and elemental debut--a lyrical vision of the strangeness and beauty of new motherhood, and a tale of endurance in the face of unimaginable change.
     In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family is forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.      This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. Startlingly beautiful, Megan Hunter's The End We Start From is a gripping novel that paints an imagined future as realistic as it is frightening. And yet, though the country is falling apart around them, this family's world--of new life and new hope--sings with love.

The Dark and Other Love Stories

- Deborah Willis

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LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

Winner of the 2018 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards - Fiction - The Diamond Foundation Prize

Nominated for the 2018 OLA Evergreen Award

Energized, irreverent, novelistic stories full of longing, strange humour, and the complications of human entanglement from Governor General's Award nominee Deborah Willis



The characters in these thirteen masterful and engaging stories exist on the edge of danger, where landscapes melt into dreamscapes and every house is haunted. A drug dealer's girlfriend signs up for the first manned mission to Mars. A girl falls in love with a man who wants to turn her into a bird. A teenage girl and her best friend test their relationship by breaking into suburban houses. A wife finds a gaping hole in the floor of the home she shares with her husband, a hole that only she can see. Full of longing and strange humour, these subtle, complex stories--about the love between a man and his pet crow, an alcoholic and his AA sponsor, a mute migrant and a newspaper reporter--show how love ties us to one another and to the world. The Dark and Other Love Stories announces the emergence of a wonderfully gifted storyteller whose stories enlarge our perceptions about the human capacity to love.